02 November, 2003

Partially Mobile

Triumph! Standing on my good leg, I manoever the wheelchair to the sidewalk in front of the porch. Hopping barefoot down the two steps, I savor sunwarmed concrete under my sole. Scootch the chair along one legged, wiggle my way out the gate, a careful controlled downslope drift to the mailbox; I HAVE ARRIVED. Open the mailbox, caring little whether there be treasure or trash inside: faugh! it is Sunday. There is no mail.

Wheeling disconsolate back into the drive, I spot my overgrown, untended bed of blousy blooming mums, in pink and yellow and peach, autumn blossoms disguised in colors of springtime. I am cheered, as I was meant to be, look my fill, wheel round to face the sun and fall into a snooze. Catnap for me until the sun makes itself scarce and late persistant mosquitos come to feast on my naked foot.

Yesterday also beautiful, and I lie facedown in the grass outside my second home, the Chesapeake Arts Center. A filmmaker from California, here for the Film Fest, keeps me company, listening and talking with quiet intensity. Inside from time to time watching some of the offerings, including his own, Dream of the Lizard; outside again in the retreating sun, we spend a lovely four hours.

Time to leave for Murder Mystery. Coco and I have a wonderful time together in the car, playing games we invent as we go. Rehearsal is brief, but the trip from the parking lot to the restaurant has made me feel burdensome, inconvenient, unwieldy and frustrated. I am therefor cranky, so much so that the cast gives me a wide berth, which is actually not what I need. The Prince understands, and is amazingly obvious in his thoughtfulness, quite a departure, as he tends to be a practitioner of Stealth Kindness. We go for food, and Sid entertains me by steering the chair in a comically dangerous fashion.

When we finish, the Prince carries me, tossed like potatos over his shoulder, the short distance to his car. I suppose this place, one of his usual haunts, is accustomed to his outrageous antics, as no one seems to think this behavior unusual. Certainly it's preferable to returning to my wheeled cage.

We return to the Rod and Reel, and while I am putting on my makeup in the bathroom, the men clear a path for me in the crowded back storage space that is our safe room, setting up an area in which I can apply makeup to our ghosts. I am fortunate to work with such considerate people. The show goes well despite my feelings of inadequacy, and we revisit the bar where we'd had dinner. A young man named Montiego has not moved from the stool he occupied when Sherri introduced us more than four hours ago. Swearing that he is not hitting on me, he proceeds to flatter me shamelessly. I am charmed, though unconvinced. Still, he is amusing company, discussing cities, football, food and strip clubs with me in a fairly random fashion.

Two beers are not enough to put me to sleep, so I am a lucid passenger for Coco. We invent another game and tell each other stories. Arriving home, we find Hawk's car out front. He doesn't wake, though we are far from quiet in our entry. Three am finds me working my way up the stairs to sleep, for the first time in three weeks, beside my husband in our waterbed.

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